In August, a group of authors and readers will converge on New Orleans for the annual Authors After Dark convention. One of those authors will be Kelly Gay, who will be celebrating the release of her fourth Charlie Madigan novel, Shadows Before the Sun.
Between life and death lies a chasm of pain beyond imagining. . . .
Elysia may be a heavenly off-world destination, but beyond it, in the siren city of Fiallan, the Circe have punished Charlie Madigan’s partner, Hank, into a tortuous state between life and death. With all the proper legal channels cleared, Charlie heads to Elysia, not knowing what she’ll find, or if she’ll ever see the siren again . . . while at home, jinn crime boss Grigori Tennin has begun an all-out hunt for the divine being Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death, and stirs Ahkneri from her long sleep—and if Vengeance wakes, Atlanta will never be the same.
Kelly’s young adult persona, Kelly Keaton, is currently celebrating the release of her second Gods & Monsters novel, A Beautiful Evil.
Hello Readers of Literary Escapism!
If any of you read my work, you know I tend to write outside of the box, mashing up genres and creating characters that tend to illicit strong responses on both sides of the fence. I don’t like playing it safe, and I lean toward the darker, grittier side of things. Two of those things in my Gods & Monsters young adult series are the setting—a futuristic, semi post-apocalyptic city formerly known as New Orleans, now called New 2—and my character kids who live in the G.D. (aka the Garden District).
The kids of the G.D range in age from nine to seventeen, and live together in a decaying old mansion in the Garden District. See, the G.D. has been abandoned for a while now. All those grand old mansions are rotting away, their gardens overgrown, their paint chipping, their boards rotting… But even so they still look grand and beautiful, and a very haunting. Squatters and paranormal outcasts live here now, staking out claims to the houses, fending for themselves, trying to make a living while the rich families of the Novem (the organization that runs the city) wines and dines in the restored French Quarter.
My kids fend for themselves too. Crank runs the mail for the Novem. Henri clears abandoned buildings of rats, snakes, and other things. Dub makes a living robbing graves and selling his finds to antique dealers in the French Quarter (who then sells the items to unsuspecting tourists – eww!). Sebastian tries to avoid the Novem at all costs even though he is one of them. And little gothic Violet with her ever-present Mardi Gras masks, big dark eyes, black bob, and tiny fangs . . . well, no one is really sure what she does or where she came from…
These kids are independent, unconventional, and resourceful. They are rough and tumble and they curse whenever the mood strikes them. No one taught them otherwise. They had no parental guidance, no one there teaching them and guiding them or protecting them. These are the characters my heroine, Ari, meets upon her arrival to New 2, the ones who stand up for her and fight alongside her. For someone looking for a place to fit in, for a family and home of her own . . . well, Ari has found it.
You can find it too. Just hop on the Saint Charles streetcar, head into the G.D. and make your way to 1331 First Street. You can’t miss it; it’s the old Italianate mansion on the corner, the one with the fading dusty rose-colored paint and rotting black shutters, the old iron porch railings, covered in vines and weeds. I’d recommend going when the sun is up and with gifts in hand. You know, gumbo, beignets, and the like. Oh, and you might want to bring something for Violet—she likes sparklies and feathers and anything Mardi Gras—or you might just find yourself being hissed at (or worse) by her and her white alligator! Just saying.
I, for one, will be taking a little trip up St. Charles to that very address during AAD2012! :-)
Meet Kelly Gay!
I’m just your average bookworm who likes to spend an embarrassing amount of time in make-believe places.
I’ve had many jobs from construction (I can drive a backhoe, tar and shingle a roof, and frame out a house) to waiting on tables, threading film through a projector, managing horse farms, and selling men’s underwear (a talent, I tell you!).
In the writing world, I’m a 2010 double RITA finalist, a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and a recipient of an NC Arts Council Fellowship grant in Literature.
Want to purchase Kelly’s novels?
- The Better Part of Darkness at Amazon | Book Depository
- The Darkest Edge of Dawn at Amazon | Book Depository
- The Hour of Dust and Ashes at Amazon | Book Depository
- Shadows Before the Sun at Amazon | Book Depository
Gods & Monsters (writing as Kelly Keaton)